I am pretty proficient at navigating Facebook. And by proficient I mean that at any given moment, I am pretty plugged in to what friends in my virtual world are up to. I can tell you who is obnoxiously sharing pictures of their food or potty training play-by-plays. I can even tell you which of my friends most resembles what Disney princess (thanks, Buzzfeed).
But I'm still trying to figure out the Twitters.
I get that retweeting is like sharing and the little star means the same thing as the little thumbs up Facebook "me likey" thingie. I'm even starting to understand hashtag. Hashtags are cool, people. You put the pound sign in front of a concept or an event like #mommyproblems or #coachella and BAM. All the tweeps on the Twitters will be able to cross reference your mama drama or your music festival attendance. Pretty handy.
But today, Twitter confused me a little more than usual. I tapped the pretty blue birdie icon on my phone and I was bombarded with stuff about feminists. Apparently, the hashtag of the day is #HowToSpotAFeminist.
Apparently some dude who goes by the name of "Doc Thompson" has decided to take assholery to a new level and start the Twitter discussion on #HowtoSpotAFeminist. I don't know if Doc is a real doctor or if he plays one on TV but apparently he has his own radio show. I've never heard of it before today but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it probably won't be high on my future list of "for your listening pleasure."
Do I consider myself a feminist? Hell yes. I believe men and women should have equal social, political and economic rights. And stuff. Do I look at myself in the mirror every morning and think "good morning you sexy feminist beast?" No. Most of my social identity is tied up in being a wife, a mom, and a writer. My life goals aren't that ambitious. I want to be happy, healthy, do the right thing and make things better for the people who come after me, mainly my kids.
But, I am a feminist.
It's not on my business card. I don't say stuff like "Jill Robbins, feminist. Happy to meet you," when I shake hands with someone. I don't have any tee-shirts, bumper stickers or key chains that identify me as a feminist. But today, Twitter suggested there be a hashtag to identify me... and I wasn't amused.
It's 2015. Women can become doctors, lawyers, and ministers. We can vote, buy weapons, buy property and jump out of airplanes. There are very few things that women can't do if women want to do them. And yes... I know all about gender stereotyping and the glass ceiling. I think we're getting there. I want to think we're getting there. When I read some of the #HowToSpotAFeminist tweets, I have to wonder about that.
I'm a feminist. According to the limited people of Twitterland that are of the same mindset as Doc Dumbass, I'm fat and ugly. I braid my armpit hair. If that's not enough of a description, follow the smells of patchouli oil and look for the woman hunching because the weight of the chip on her shoulder is too much for her poor, aching back. I'm wearing trousers because I want to look like a guy. I want to be a guy and I probably wish I had a penis.
I'm a feminist whose mom taught her that beauty is on the inside and "pretty is as pretty does." My armpit hair (or lack thereof) and my choice in fragrances is none of anyone's damn business and has nothing to do with what I think and how I believe. I'm standing up straight, tall and proud of who I am and what I can do. If I did have a chip on my shoulder, I'd brush it off. If it ricocheted off the ground and bounced up to hit Doc not-really-a-doc Thompson on his ignorant little nose, I'd apologize, because I'm not an asshole but I'd have to laugh because... well, because karma. I happen to be wearing a skirt right now and I shaved... well... at some point this week, I'm not gonna lie. But that has nothing to do with wanting to be a dude. Penises are great but I don't happen to want one of my own. And if I did... well, the world is a pretty advanced place and I could probably make that happen.
How do you spot a feminist? Look this way, Doc Thompson. Look at me. I'm the one over here going about my business raising two little boys that hopefully won't turn out to be jackasses that will someday make up stupid shit like #HowToSpotAFeminist. They know what a feminist looks like. A feminist looks like their mother. And you know what, Doc Douchebag? Tomorrow when I get up and look at myself in the mirror, I believe I will start my day with a hearty "good morning you sexy feminist beast." Boom.